Montefalco was already an important municipality in Roman times due to its dominant position above the valley connecting Spoleto and Perugia. From the 11th century the town flourished in the culture of the free communes and the Renaissance. The 13th and 14th centuries saw many clashes with the surrounding communes. The Foligno seigniory dominated the town for about 50 years, until it was liberated in 1424 by Francesco Sforza.
Montefalco encloses an important heritage of art that makes it an essential point of reference to understand Umbrian painting, starting from the church museum of San Francesco, constructed for the Minor Friars between 1335 and 1338.
Cinta Duecentesca, thirteenth-century walls, is the name given to the compact city-walls restored in the 14th century by Lorenzo Maitani, which are still today in good order. The medieval layout of the town is dominated by the church of Sant’Agostino, featuring frescoes by Ambrogio Lorenzetti and Bartolomeo Caporali, built at the same time as the convent in the second half of the 13th century above a small building dedicated to St John the Baptist. The main square of the town, Piazza del Comune, offers a concentration of aristocratic palaces. The Town Hall, Palazzo Comunale, was constructed in 1270, then embellished with a loggia, and in the 18th century the bell tower, Torre Campanaria, was added and topped with a fastigium to modify the facade.
The Montefalco district, together with the municipalities of Giano dell’Umbria, Gualdo Cattaneo, Bevagna and Castel Ritaldi, are part of the food and wine itinerary of the Sagrantino Wine Route, one of the most prestigious wines produced in Umbria. The historic palace, Santi Gentili, is the headquarters of the Centro Nazionale Vini Passiti, National Sweet Wines Centre, set up by the Municipal Council of Montefalco in 1991.
Sagrantino PDO and Rosso di Montefalco
Montefalco takes its name from the passion for falcon hunting of Frederic II who spent an entire year here in 1249. This is the land of sagrantino, an ancient varietal in its land of birth. From the Latin sacer, a sacred wine for the celebrations of Christian tradition that marked the rhythm of rural life, it was originally consumed in the passita style. Around the middle of the last century it was made into wine and bottled in the dry style.
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